Review: Miss Behaviour – Heart of Midwinter (Re-Release)

Review: Miss Behaviour – Heart of Midwinter (Re-Release)

Pride & Joy Music (February 17th, 2023)

Reviewer: Jason Hopper

After years of fans paying exorbitant amounts of money to purchase their hard-to-find debut album, the founding members of Miss Behaviour (guitarist Erik Heikne and keyboardist Henrik Sproge) have decided to remaster and re-release their debut, ‘Heart of Midwinter‘.

The press release states the band was trying to find their sound with this album. That’s a perfect description of this album. The spectrum of melodies goes from AOR to Hard Rock, Metal, and even touches of Prog. The guitarist and keyboardist are toggling between the genres amongst the other members to assess their talents and comfort levels, with the bassist, drummer and vocalists ultimately parting after this recording.

There are elements of sounds that the band would eventually gravitate towards. Track 2’s ‘Precious Time’ has the harmonies and melodic constructs for which the band would eventually be known. This makes the song a stand-out track. Some other solid tracks include the rocker ‘One Heart in Divide’. A mid-tempo track with an interesting chorus of melodious vocals amid drum fills and a keyboard solo. ‘Dreams Are Cursed’ kicks things into a higher gear, with another stand out performance from Henrik Sproge’s keys layering the melody line.

Many of the songs have a Queensrÿche feel, in no small part due to the distinctness of vocalist Mattias Wetterhall, who sounds like he graduated Summa Cum Laude from the Geoff Tate/Bruce Dickinson School of Rock Vocalists. His timbre is quite impressive, if not distinctly familiar. It almost feels like a Queensrÿche greatest hits, as they are a band that had a transitional sound throughout their career, with Miss Behaviour taking that trajectory and putting it all on one album.

So is this a good Miss Behaviour album? It’s more of a curiosity as it does not hold a candle to their later output. In an effort to find their sound, their focus was not on honing the songs to the levels they would be once the band found their groove. Those looking for tracks similar to the fabulous AOR/glam rock mix of ‘Savage Heart’ or the catchy brilliance of ‘Emergency’ are not going to find that here. The other issue is the production. Recorded with a limited budget, the sonics are of a low quality, despite the best efforts of the label to remaster the album.

If you are a band completionist, then I could see purchasing this album blindly. For everyone else, I would suggest listening to this album first before buying. Certain songs could be cherry-picked from this album, but most of the tracks would not be something I would add to my collection.

Tracklist:

  1. The Shine
  2. Precious Time
  3. Dreams Are Cursed
  4. Midwinter Sleeps
  5. Circles
  6. Make It Your Own Way
  7. Runaway Man
  8. One Heart in Divide
  9. New Horizon